German mineralogist Georgius Agricola is known for his important compilations of alchemical recipes and techniques in the 16th century included the "de re Metallica" ("About Metallic Things", 1556). His real name was Georg Bauer (1494-1555). He was born in Saxony and educated in medicine in Italy. In 1527 he became the physician for Joachimsthal and took up the study of mineralogy and geology. His masterwork was published the year after his death, at which time he was the burgomaster of the city of Chemnitz (now Karl-Marx Stadt). The work became a textbook and manual for miners for almost two centuries. One or more of his works can be found in the library at Joseph Curwen's Providence home.
Oddly there was a second Agricola named Rodolphus Agricola about whom information can be found in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, 4:171a.
[The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - H.P.L.]